Freshman debuts in model for RBHS gymnasts

Lia Christiansen

Riverside Brookfield High School freshman Lia Christiansen has quickly made the transition to gymnastics for high school girls.

On December 4th, she got her third score in the 9s by helping the Bulldogs hit a season high of 127.65 to finish 10th at the Hilltopper Invitational in Glenbard West.

“There are a lot of good girls who get 9, so it’s really cool to see how close I am to them,” said Christiansen after finishing 11th in a strong 12-team field with a 9.0 in floor exercises would have. “We did very well today. I’m proud of it. I think a lot more people got stuck on the (floating) beam and didn’t fall off, so we did pretty well there. ”

Christiansen was also 13th in the all-around competition (33.75) and 13th in the jump (8.95) with equal points. Senior Nora Ford shared 15th place (8.85).

The invitation was a significant jump from the 123.60 points the Bulldogs scored in their one-two at Hinsdale South on December 2nd.

Christiansen won Boden (9.3) and Sprung (9.0) on the way to a first place of 33.90 in the overall standings.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I’ve scored pretty good goals and the team is so much fun,” said Christiansen. “My [Yurchenko tuck] Vault turned out really well and I landed it. I like the floor best. ”

Ford was third in the jump (7.9), Sarah Lindenberg tied fourth in the jump (7.7) and fifth on the bar (7.0) and Leah Kowalski fourth (8.6) on the floor with equal points.

At the season opener Hornet Invitational on November 24th in Hinsdale South, RBHS took sixth place (122.95).

Christiansen and Ford won individual medals with top 10 placements.

Christiansen shared fifth place in the jump (8.85), was seventh on the ground (8.65) and was seventh in the all-around competition (31.65).

Ford was 10th on the bar (8.2) and Annabel Krueger was tied in 14th place (7.75).

Holmes lands three top 10 finishes in Hinsdale South

Junior Annmarie Holmes made her high school gymnastics debut at the Hornet Invitational in Hinsdale South.

She left this season’s opening event on November 24th with a better feeling – and three top 10 individual medals.

“That got me really excited, especially since I last saw the Hornet Invite freshman year, I haven’t bet on anything,” said Holmes. “It showed my improvement and made me more confident.”

The Lions finished fifth (127.55) and continued to progress on December 1, despite losing 134.40 to 129.10 in the double opener of the West Suburban Conference Silver in the Oak Park-River Forest.

In Hinsdale South Holmes was eighth on the bar (8.3) and tied in ninth place (8.45) as sixth in the all-around event (32.30). The freshman Emmy Bertucci and the second Emily Tucker also received medals.

Holmes, an individual section qualification as a freshman, said moving from gymnastics clubs to action last year helped her increase the difficulty of her routines.

“It really helped me gain more skills and now I feel a lot more confident in my routines,” said Holmes. “I think overall I gained more self-confidence at all events. At every meeting I want to improve and add more skills. “

Bertucci made an impressive high school debut with second place on the uneven bars (8.55). Tucker finished eighth on the floor (8.5) and 10th on the uneven bars (7.85).

Calli Avants and Tiana Bojic had team-high 8.6 seconds on the go to finish 15th.

At OPRF, Bertucci scored with the first bar (8.4). Holmes, Emma Cassidy and Gabi Sanchez shared fifth place with 7.9 seconds.

On the uneven bars, Tucker came third (8.0) and Bertucci and Calleigh McPartlin came fourth (7.9). Tucker also shared third place (8.4) and Natalie Aubert finished fifth (8.05). Bertucci (31.50) and Holmes (31.45) finished fourth and fifth in the all-around competition.

‘Pandemic leisure’: How a Texas gymnast’s COVID-19 isolation led him flipping into viral fame

23 year old Michael Lewis never expected to break the internet by turning around. Now that he’s done it, he’s building a viral career.

THE COLONY, Texas – Sometimes the simplest acts in our lives that we consider effortless are the inspiration, entertainment, or the moment of pleasant distraction a complete stranger needs.

Michael Lewis didn’t fully understand this until COVID-19 came to America, not until it went viral for doing exactly what he loves: freaking out.

“I was born and raised in a gym,” said Lewis. “My family taught gymnastics. I was in their gym from the age of zero because they were both coaches.”

“I didn’t have a choice,” said Lewis with a laugh.

Lewis teaches gymnastics himself at Tumble HQ in The Colony for most of the day.

It’s a career he naturally chose after years of professional football.

However, when COVID-19 surfaced in March 2020, Lewis was quickly unemployed due to orders that were left at home. The gyms weren’t allowed to reopen until May 2020, and even then they had to be 25% full.

Needless to say, Lewis had a lot of newfound free time to spend during this time.

“I didn’t have any work at all,” said Lewis.

Lewis, however, had a smartphone, social media, and creativity on his side.

Before the pandemic, he tried flip tricks on Instagram and TikTok.

In some of his most watched posts, Lewis would spin near the sides of the pools, land them, then gently dip his toes into the water and land on the side of the pool again.

After receiving new downtime, Lewis decided it was time to take his social media flips to another level.

“I’ve started posting more on Instagram and only seeing it all when people would like to watch,” said Lewis. “I’ve just started to take it really seriously.”

Lewis did some pretty crazy things with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

If you’ve never seen this movie before, check it out.

He would fold down stairs, picnic tables, fences, and virtually every ledge he could find.

“I’d drive around places and just say to myself, OK, I’ll come back here with my camera,” Lewis said with a laugh.

It wasn’t long before Instagram accounts like SportsCenter and WorldStarHipHop started sharing Lewis’ posts.

It turned out that the 23-year-old’s guess was correct; People enjoyed watching his unique talent.

When the WFAA interviewed him weeks ago, he had around 30,000 followers on Instagram.

Now he has more than 70,000 followers on Instagram, 1.2 million likes on TikTok and 76,000 followers on TikTok.

“It’s just blown up like crazy,” said Lewis.

Last month, Lewis took his videos to a new level: incorporating bowls of water into his flips.

It’s hard to explain, but in one video it starts with a bowl of water being held by the seats of two chairs facing each other.

Lewis runs to the chairs and turns them so low that his head is submerged in the bowl of water while he’s in midair. Then he lands the flip as traces of H2O fly off his hair.

Lewis isn’t the only one trying stunts like this on social media, but he’s definitely one of the most successful.

He said he got a lot of inspiration from other similar posts.

“I always remember to build on what I see like I could add a flip here or there,” said Lewis. “I just have so many ideas right away.”

Surprisingly, breaking the internet isn’t new to Lewis either.

While playing soccer for McKinney Boyd High School in 2015, he scored a goal when doing a flip throw-in from the sideline.

Don’t you know what that looks like? Check it out below.

National attention was drawn to Lewis after the video of the goal went viral.

“People were so shocked and they were like ‘whoa’,” said Lewis.

His coach at the time, Casey Osborn, couldn’t believe it. He encouraged Lewis to throw in the throw-in after putting the flip into practice. He certainly felt that a teenager with a gymnastics background could do it.

“You don’t see children that far, or usually never,” said Osborn. “Everyone went crazy and it wasn’t your average goal.”

A few years later, in 2019, Lewis set a Guinness World Record for the longest football throw-in at 59.817 meters.

The WFAA asked Osborn if he knew what Lewis was up to these days. He didn’t know so we showed him some of the flip videos.

His jaw dropped without hesitation.

“It’s so fast! Gosh, Louise!” Said Osborn. “It’s not shocking, but it’s damn cool.”

Lewis is still quite speechless that so many were interested in his gifts.

He said he was surprised when someone recognized him in public and said they were following him online.

“When that happens, you’re like a man, it’s cool that I can impress someone like that just by having fun,” said Lewis.

But will he be doing social media full time? Lewis is undecided for now.

Or rather, his decision remains “in the air”.